Chocolate Mousse Cake with Pomegranate

Have you ever started to write a sentence in a card then completely lose your train of thought? It happens to me all the time. In fact it happened to me this weekend. I was signing a card for my friends wedding and for some reason I started a sentence with “after”. I’m still not sure where I meant to go with that. I do know that what I ended up writing might not have made much sense, I got myself all flustered. So Steph, if you’re reading this, I meant to say I love you and I’m so happy for you.

chocolate mousse cake with pomegranate overhead The wedding had me in a celebratory mood the following day. Celebrations to me mean cake, and the best cake I can think of is my mom’s famous chocolate cake. Family members have left their sick beds for a slice of that cake. I would to share the actual recipe with you, but my mom honestly can’t say what the recipe is. It’s been altered and modified so many times it only exists in her mind. I can tell you it’s chocolate cake spiked with Kahlua, with layers of ganache and whipped cream. I based this cake on that but made it my own. I used a chocolate genoise baked in a jelly roll pan, and filled it with chocolate mousse and whipped cream.  I think chocolate can always use a little fruit, so I topped the cake with pomegranate seeds. And, of course, I spiked the cake layers with Kahlua.


Chocolate Mousse Cake with Pomegranate

For the Chocolate Genoise

  •  1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a 15 by 10 inch jelly roll pan with parchment, then grease the parchment.
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa together. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large heat proof bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Place the bowl over and pot  with 1 inch of simmering water and whisk until the eggs reach a temperature of 130 F, about 4 minutes depending on the size of the bowl and pot. Remove the bowl from the heat. Using an electric mixer (hand held or standing) beat the eggs until the have tripled in volume are back to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
  5. Fold the flour into the eggs in three additions. Stir a spoonful of the batter into the butter, then fold the butter into the batter gently. The batter will deflate a little at this point.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet, then bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the center springs back when touched.

For the Chocolate Mousse

  • 4 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter. Add the cinnamon once melted. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the egg yolk till double in volume and the colour has lightened. Mix into melted chocolate. Refrigerate while whipping the egg whites.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks.
  4. Take a small amount of the egg whites and mix it into the chocolate to thin the chocolate, then fold the chocolate into the egg whites.
  5. Set aside.
For the Cream
  • 1 cups35% cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  1. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
For the Kahlua Syrup
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Kahlua
  • 1 cups water
  1. In a saucepan bring sugar and water to boil. Remove from the heat, let cool, then add the Kahlua.
To assemble
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  1. Slice the cake into three 5 by 10 inch slices. Place the bottom layer on the serving plate. Soak with 1/3 of the Kahlua syrup, then top with the chocolate mousse. Place another layer of cake on top of the chocolate mousse. Soak that layer with 1/2 of the remaining Kahlua syrup. Top that layer with half of the whipped cream. Place the final layer of cake on top of the whipped cream layer. Soak with remaining Kahlua syrup. Top with the remaining whipped cream, then decorate with the pomegranate seeds.
  2. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the cake to set.


My Condo Smells Like Cinnamon

My mom had a great cinnamon roll recipe when we were growing up. She found it in a Kahlua recipe pamphlet. A little alcohol makes everything tastier :). I used to love waking up to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking, and the rolls were always devoured quickly. (My mother is clearly not one of these moms) Sadly, somewhere along the way she lost the recipe (and a lot of other great Kahlua recipes, boo!). So my plan with these cinnamon rolls was to recreate that recipe.

I used Anna Olson’s Sticky Bun dough, and attempted to reinvent the filling. It worked out pretty well,. The dough is great, it’s easy to make and yields a soft fluffy bun. I think the cream cheese is the secret. I just don’t know why. And the filling is pretty close to what I remember.

I brought them to an office breakfast and they were all gone by the end of the day. Ok fine, I had to push them on to some people at the end of the day, but no one seemed to mind.

Anna Olson’s Sticky Bun Dough

Click here for her complete recipe

  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese

My Kahlua Filling

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 1 cup nuts or raisins (optional)
  1. Using a mixer, dissolve yeast in water and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add milk, egg and sugar and blend. Add flour and salt and mix for 1 minute to combine. Add butter and cream cheese and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rest 1 hour.
  4. While the dough is resting, combine all the filling ingredients in a saucepan. On medium heat stir till the butter has melted.
  5. Pour half the filling mixture in a 9 by 13 in baking dish. Put the rest of the filling in the fridge to cool until the dough is ready.
  6. Once the hour is up, on a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a rectangle, about 1 cm thick.
  7. Spread the remaining filling on the dough. Roll lengthwise. Slice the dough into 12 pieces and place them on the baking sheet.
  8. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

This method is not exactly what I did. I poured the warm filling over the rolled out dough. Disaster. As soon as I started to roll the dough, the filling started to ooze out. It got even worse when I sliced the rolls. I salvaged some of the filling and just poured it into the pan, but a lot of the rolls didn’t have enough filling. I think cooling the filling to a spreadable consistency will solve this problem. Thankfully, there was enough delicious goopiness at the bottom of the rolls to save the day.